The first thing I built when I got my first allotment and again last year was a compost bin.  I’ve been ‘making’ compost for 10 years and still I continue to be amazed that a haphazard assortment of annual weeds, peelings, prunings, tea bags (lots of those!) coffee grounds and seriously misshapen carrots etc, transforms itself into this brown, crumbly stuff.

Other than adding the ingredients and adding some water when the pile seems dry, I do very little to facilitate this transformation.


This is the only place I can share pictures of my compost and know that I won’t get strange looks!

On plot 34, I started with a two bay bin made from pallets and a corrugated iron sheet.  I filled one bay and left that to brew while filling the other bay.  I empty the bays on alternate years.  I acquired two daleks and whilst they produce smaller quantities of compost, seem to do so quicker than the open bays but do seem more attractive to furry creatures seeking a warm bed for the night.  I don’t mind sharing the space but I do wish they’d stop contaminating my heaps with tiny bits of plastic used to line their nest.

At plot 48, I treated myself to a ‘posh’ three bay purpose made compost bin.  I’m about to move it for the third time, no small undertaking as the post are dug in!  Now that I’ve experienced the home-made Heath Robinson compost bin and the purpose made, I’d recommend the home-made every time.

Charles Dowding recommends covering beds with a 2″ layer of compost mulch each year.  A rough calculation shows I need approximately 2.5 cubic metres of compost.  A present I produce probably a bit less than one cubic metre, which means I need to step up production!  I don’t think I can generate any more green and brown waste to add to the bins but I can fill up a couple of bulk bags with wood chip and fresh manure that is delivered to site.

More on the compost production area soon!

Enjoy your week.